Tributes to former English Party Chair Peter Ellis

Party members will be sad to hear of the sudden death of former English Party Chair Peter Ellis. Peter died in his sleep on Tuesday night, after being in Party HQ that day.

He chaired the English Party from 2012-2015.

I worked with him on the Federal Board and the party’s Federal Finance Committee. We might have disagreed robustly about some things, but we always had a good laugh in the pub afterwards.

Tributes have been appearing on social media:

Former party press director and friend of Peter’s, Elizabeth Peplow told me:

He was someone to whom the party (and successive leaders) owes a great deal particularly in Western Counties and the South West. I was very lucky to work with him on and off for more than 15 years as Director of Press and Broadcasting in Cowley St and regional media co-ordinator in Western Counties and Devon & Cornwall and then afterwards on successive GE campaigns in 2010, 15 and 17. A  great friend to so many and a great loss to the centre left in this region and beyond as Peter was that rare beast, a seemingly endlessly energetic and challenging, campaigning entrepreneur who deftly weaved brilliant business acumen and an acute brain for detail into every political context and transaction but was never afraid to lob a metaphorical stick of dynamite into the mix when he thought it was needed to shake things up and all this, always with a kind heart and a twinkle in his eye.

I know many of you will have your own good memories of Peter to share, so please do so in the comments.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Tahir Maher Tahir Maher 15th Mar '18 - 8:20pm

    Really sad to hear the news yesterday. Peter was held in high esteem by many for good reason, and he was a councillor in Wokingham (many moons ago) in the same ward I stood in. I am still grateful for his support. RIP Peter

  • I met Peter in 1973 in Reading. I had arrived at Uni as a signed up Young Lib and he was the driving force of the Local Party. We became and remained friends ever since despite him signing me up to stand as a lone Liberal teller outside in the dark and snow of Polling Day in the February 1974 General Election! Our friendship depened when I returned to the West in 2004. Peter was among those who persuaded me onto the Regional and English Party Execs having previously enrolled me into the Sante Fe dining group he founded to raise huge amounts of money for key seat candidates at successive elections. Recently Peter had stopped coming to Conference. So I knew I would not see him in Southport. But as we spoke every week I knew we’d catch-up. It’s a call now that will never happen. I will miss very deeply his wisdom, passion for our Party, kindness and commitment to liberalism. He will be much missed by all who knew and loved him.

  • Julia Goldsworthy 15th Mar '18 - 11:45pm

    Elizabeth captures perfectly the sense of steely yet infectious determination (topped off with a twinkle if you were lucky) that was Peter to a tee. He played a key role in building my self belief as a candidate, told me hard truths when they were needed, and was always there for me as a friend. I am sure there will be many, many others with similar stories, all beneficiaries of his limitless energy for the liberal cause. I will miss him greatly.

  • This is a very sad loss.
    Some of Peter’s business interests took him to part of the ward I represented. He got in touch to talk it through..
    One of the interesting outcomes from our intermittent chats was that I learned what a smaller region could do to support weaker areas, provided that someone had the drive. Peter did.
    A lovely, helpful and thoughtful man.

  • Nick Cotter 18th Mar '18 - 8:05pm

    Peter was a great man, a great personality …………he will be sadly missed.
    He was a tremendous campaigner, helping my Dad in being elected as Lib Dem MP for Weston-Super-Mare in 1997, and re-election in 2002, the 1st non-tory MP there in over 70 years. Sympathy to Jane and the rest of Peter’s family. Nick Cotter and Dad – Lord Brian Cotter (of Congresbury), ………..

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